Weddings in which the bride and bridegroom have chosen their partner on their own account for less than 10 per cent of all unions in today’s India: a society where the overwhelming majority of marriages are traditionally arranged by the couple’s parents. As the country modernises this institution still defies predictions of decline.
Love marriages are especially common among the cosmopolitan upper class, in which young Indians often study and work abroad. The wedding festivities though, take place in India and are orchestrated in the same traditional manner as any other marriage. Religious rituals are believed to contribute to marital stability while a deep meshing and unification of extended families takes place.
Mahesh Shantaram has been documenting the weddings of this thin slice of Indian society for many years through his subjective photography. Disneyland-like sets, entertainment and catering for thousands of guests, Mahesh’s photographs are his personal take on 21st century India. “Everything that’s great about India and everything that’s wrong with it can be summarised in a single wedding” he says. MATRIMANIA follows him across the country during the wedding season to meet and get to know a part of India that is rarely seen in the West.
Directed by Maximilien Van Aertryck & Vincent Bitaud
France / Sweden
Sound mixing : Fabrice Allain
Color Grading : Charlotte Gonzalez
Length : 84 mins
With the support of Film Stockholm / Filmbasen & 113 crowdfunders.